Lansing City Council Votes To Censure Councilmember Brandon Betz
The Lansing City Council is denouncing Councilmember Brandon Betz and recommending his resignation after he sent harassing text messages to a Black Lansing activist.
In a unanimous vote Monday night, the Lansing City Council approved a resolution to censure 1st Ward Councilmember Brandon Betz and remove him from his committee assignments.
The resolution also calls for Betz to resign.
Councilmember Carol Wood questioned Betz’s ability to lead.
“We know that we do not have the ability to remove him from office. But this is egregious enough that we think he should resign," she said.
Betz did not attend the meeting, but it was Wood who brought to attention an email Betz sent the council apologizing for his behavior.
"What concerned me was this happened Tuesday night, and it took him 'till Sunday to realize he had done something wrong, that he owed us an apology," Wood explained.
Councilmember Jeremy Garza supported Wood's motion asking Betz to resign, and said he was dissapointed by his behavior.
“What my colleague did, I believe, was distasteful and it was a lack of respect for his constituent," he said.
The vote comes several days after a text message interaction between Betz and local Black activist Michael Lynn Jr. became public. In the messages Betz, who is white, uses profanity and racially insensitive language towards Lynn.
If Betz resigns or is removed from office, the rest of the council will be required to appoint someone to fill his seat for the remainder of the year. According to city ordinance, the council can remove a member if they are unqualified for the position, are convicted of a felony while holding office, or they violate a provision of the city charter.